1. ‘Bharatratna’ Savarkar!

    ‘Bharatratna’ Savarkar!

    Though delayed, justice has finally been done to the man. After years of prevarication, the Bhartiya Janta Party has at last publicly and explicitly owned up Vinayak Damodar Savarkar as its cult figure. The BJP seeks to displace Gandhi from his position as the pre-eminent symbol of Indian nationalism and project, in his stead, Savarkar as a national hero. This is an enterprise, however, that is fraught with risk. The risk of the truth coming out in the open. In his book, Savarkar and Hindutva:[...]
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  2. 'The criticism of religion is the premise of all criticism': Raosaheb Kasbe

    'The criticism of religion is the premise of all criticism': Raosaheb Kasbe

    When Raosaheb Kasbe's Zot was published in Marathi, in 1978, RSS cadres made a public bonfire of it at the Janata Party convention in Pune that year. The book presented an incisive critique of M.S. Golwalkar's Bunch of Thoughts, the main ideological treatise of the RSS. Kasbe traced the historical roots of cultural nationalism as outlined by Golwalkar, and exposed its authoritarianism. His study of the functioning of the RSS revealed its communal blueprint, its anti-modern views and anti-democra[...]
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  3. Girish Karnad, the Playwright Against the Right

    Girish Karnad, the Playwright Against the Right

    It is both apt and reductive that two images dominate others as Girish Karnad is remembered on social media: one, with Gauri Lankesh, protesting the killing of Karnad's fellow Dharwadian Prof. M.M. Kalburgi; the other, wearing the Me Too Urban Naxal placard, at the memorial to mark the first anniversary of Gauri Lankesh's own killing. Over the past few years, Karnad was seen as one of the most consistent, fearless and principled defenders of freedom of speech, cultural diversity and democracy. I[...]
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  4. Remember, Remember,  the 6th of December

    Remember, Remember, the 6th of December

    Remember, Remember, the 6th of December, the axes, the hammers, that would dismember a mosque and a nation that has since then - only walked on embers. - Akhil Katyal Indian democracy has seen multiple black dots in its 70 years of history. From emergency declared by Indira Gandhi to 2002 Gujarat riots, one event that stands out in this period is the demolition of Babri Masjid. On 6th December 1992, thousands of Kar Sevaks mobilized by Hindu outfits like Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Rashtriya S[...]
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